Leaked deal memo for last year’s Grand Bargain: “Obama willing to go quite far”

Is it too early to bitch about the Grand Bargain Trainwreck Obama has planned for us? Hope not.

Here’s the ultimate Beltway insider, Bob Woodward, on Meet The Press with David Gregory. It seems that someone leaked Obama’s 2011 Grand Bargain memo to House Speaker John Boehner. First, Woodward’s on-air comment (my emphasis):

“This is a confidential document, last offer the president — the White House made last year to Speaker Boehner to try to reach this $4 trillion grand bargain.  And it’s long and it’s tedious and it’s got budget jargon in it.  But what it shows is a willingness to cut all kinds of things, like TRICARE, which is the sacred health insurance program for the military, for military retirees; to cut Social Security; to cut Medicare. And there are some lines in there about, “We want to get tax rates down, not only for individuals but for businesses.”  So Obama and the White House were willing to go quite far.”

Yes, “quite far” indeed.

The Deal memo

Now from the memo, here’s a couple of tastes (view the whole memo here). The colored markup is mine. The penciled markup is presumably Woodward’s or his staff’s. On that suite of cuts, including cuts to military benefits:

On Medicare and tax rates:

On Medicare spending:

On Social Security and taxes:

Take that, Democratic Party brand. And the AFP-funded Congress types said no. I don’t think we can count on that kind of help this time. David Koch says it’s time to raise revenue to get the rest of these great (Republican) goodies on offer.

What you can do

I haven’t written about it yet, but from that emotional speech Obama gave, which bought him much feel-good cred, you’ll notice he had no goals for the party he leads, just goals for himself. Typical, say I. (The link is Taylor Marsh, who’s on the right side of almost all of this stuff, in my opinion. A good bookmark and follow.)

So here’s another goal for just himself, one that just might sink the party that hosts him (in the biology sense). Time to get on your elected congressional Democrats about this — those who, unlike Obama, will face the voters again — and speak sternly and directly. They should not be confused about your unwillingness to back them if they back this.

First, follow the simple instructions here. Call your senators and don’t forget to report back (email address at the link). Everything you need in order to help out is on that page.

Second, be aware that the Grand Bargain may not happen in the lame duck — we should be so lucky — but be pushed to an even Grander Bargain in the first six months of 2013. This is going to be a long fight.

On the other hand, it’s not like is been a short fight up until now. In the 1970s, the MoveCons (professional movement conservatives like Richard Viguerie and the Powell Memo crowd) took over the Republican Party — the first of the cadre coups that party has endured. This led to Reagan’s ascension.

Then, in the 1980s, the pro-corporate, pro-banking “neo-liberals” led by DLCers like Bill Clinton and, yes, Al Gore, took over the Democratic Party. That led to the supposed “liberal” Clinton presidency.

We’ve been fighting since Reagan at least, and the smart ones have been fighting them both. Obama is the heir to Clinton — and would love to walk in his post-presidential million-dollar shoes after he descends. He thinks that the Grand Bargain is his legacy. Let’s hand it to him in spades. I’d personally like nothing more than to help paint Obama as who he truly is.

We have four years to do that, starting now. I’m ready if you are.

(UPDATE: Link fixed. )

GP

To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States. Click here for more. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius and Facebook.

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  • GaiusPublius

    It’s not just that he caters to RW Republicans (note, not the same as the vague term “the tea party”). It’s that he has the same goals.Kill the safety net. Clinton had the same goal. ALL of the billionaires running both parties share that goal:

    http://americablog.com/2012/05/obama-2006-too-many-of-us-have-been-interested-in-defending-programs-as-written-in-1938.html

    GP

  • http://twitter.com/coryfu CoryFu

    The real Obama is already showing his face,they one we saw at pre election cycle,the one who made it seem like he caved,the one who made it seem like he was making an effort to compromise…when in actuality he is fully complicit and in collusion,of course they were going to hold off with raising the taxes (letting Bushz tax cuts expire)…what else were they going to use as a tool to evicirate the middle class and poor/the “NewDeal”…Obama is so friggn far from being a Progressive…he is a center-right corporatist…PERIOD…and those things he pushed and did was just pandering,the entire goal of the political establishment has been to destroy the middle class,rapidly more wealth and power to the top and enslave the poor.

  • A reader in Colorado

    A few things:

    Point the First:

    How are you going to form an Open Rebellion caucus in the first place?

    So-called progressives in Congress (I’m just going to call them SCP’s, since if your voting record as a Congressperson is not progressive, and against the leadership when necessary, one isn’t progressive at all) seem to be quite happy at the moment. There is no incentive for them to form such an Open Rebellion and if people are going to sigh and vote for Democrats anyway, there is no incentive for them to EVER do so. An unhappy vote for Congressional Democrats is just as good as a happy one in the end. Or for President, for that matter.

    Where there is no price for mouthing empty platitudes, issuing sternly worded letters and then going along in the end, that’s exactly what they will do — the quintessential example being someone like Kucinich going along with Obama’s corporate health bill, despite pledging not to do so. And if there are more conservative Democrats to go after, attempting to primary SCP’s first is wishful thinking and a foolish waste of resources to boot. So there is no punishment and not even any incentive for SCP’s not to promise and renege, and be good little party cogs when push comes to shove.

    The only other incentive for SCP’s to form an Open Rebellion is if they sense the leadership failing them and the entire party weakening. How are you going to do that with a SCP bullshit artist?

    The point of having third parties in the first place is actually not to win seats, at least not initially. It is to put pressure on the pre-existing parties. Unless you’re willing to attack the parties from the position of being a third party, sapping their numbers, dwindling their resources, or you’re willing to express rebellion as a voter and a citizen by voting for any non-Democrat.

    Indeed, SCP’s seem to have been doing exactly what you espouse, metaphorically speaking: occasionally threatening to blow up the SS. Neoliberal while never setting off a bomb in the engine room.

    After a while of doing that, people just stop taking you seriously and start writing you off as a clown and laughing at you. And it is the same for a voter. Threatening to not vote for a candidate or to literally unseat a candidate earns you derision until such time as you actually do it.

    And, yes, you may get a Republican in that seat as the price. But it’s the price of setting an example. The thing you have to do to make it worth the price, though, is to say you’re going to do it if your conditions aren’t met, then actually do it when your conditions are not met.

    Working within a party, accepting the rules of parties, does not apply pressure to the party as a whole. And this pressure is needed. Someone needs to be out there, hammering the parties on their hypocrisies and their various fecklessnesses. And you can do that as either a SCP or as a Third Partier, but if you don’t actually hit them over the head (again, metaphorically, not in terms of physical violence) with a stick, either in dissent or in votes, no one is ever going to take you seriously.

    Point the Second:

    You say and have said that we have limited time.

    But primarying in addition to seldom working has another huge flaw: and that is a long period of time in which you just have to shut up and let the neoliberal Congressional nominee or the Presidential nominee just run the show without any consequential opposition from the left.

    And for a job that needs to get done in “10 years” and not 50, having 3, 4 or 5 six months periods of quiescence while neoliberals debate our fate with fascist Republicans and only fascist Republicans is just not workable. If SCPs within the Democratic Party will not use those periods, we who are not Democrats will. And we’re going to paint a very unflattering picture of SCP’s for accepting neoliberal rule while philosophically disagreeing with it.

    In a time limited environment, these grace periods are antithetical.

    Point the Third

    The problem with your Eugene McCarthy examples is the need for an actual Eugene McCarthy, or even a need for a Ted Kennedy against a Carter.

    There is no such person in the here and now. Not one person willing to run against the Obama machine? Not one SCP to run against whatever has-been mealy mouthed conservative the Democratic Party machine chooses to put up, in the manner of a McDonalds’ Happy Meal in 2015? Not one?

    Where are your balls, SCPs? And if SCPs don’t or won’t have the balls, there is no reason not to have a third party – because they are the only ones who will In other words, if SCPs won’t do it, Third Partiers MUST.

    Challenging the power of the neoliberals is something SCPs both in Congress and in the great big world treat as optional. In that environment, if they won’t, someone else has to.

    You say third parties are a non-starter. But SCPs never started at all. They never even BEGAN. At least the third partiers put in a showing. At least the third partiers showed the hell up. The SCPs were AWOL. They never even bothered to appear, even with the ridiculous six month grace period.

    With all due respect to, say, Bernie Sanders, why is it not accurate to speak of such people in general if not in the specific, as feckless weasels? I really do respect Sanders’ getting out there and at least putting a progressive point of view into the media. At the same time, if one never puts ones money where one’s mouth is, one is a collaborator. Going along to get along is the same thing as endorsing, in my world.

  • Ford Prefect

    I used to think very much like you. About two years ago, toward the beginning of the 2010 election cycle. But this notion of “taking over the Democratic Party” seems wishful in the extreme and not the least bit realistic. Gene McCarthy didn’t bring down LBJ in a vacuum. He appeared at the right time to stand in front of a great deal of upheaval. That simply isn’t happening now and it’s not going to happen either. There are two problems with using ’60s analogies:

    1) The Democratic Party was just as much a war mongering party as the GOP during the sixties. There was dissent, but most of the anti-war dissent came from without the Democratic Party. Who, after all, ended up with the nomination in ’68? Humphrey, who supported the war. Today’s Democrats are openly pro-war in extremis. There simply isn’t a genuine anti-war constituency in the Democratic Party, outside the DFHs that have no power whatsoever. Take any other big issue and the situation is the same: the Democratic Leadership is simply on the wrong side of every issue that concerns people who identify as being “left of center” as well as a few other groupings. Environment, energy, labor, global warming… you name it, the Dems are on the wrong side of it. This also applies to the burgeoning police state which has grown to the point of almost all Democrats in congress voting for NDAA 2012.

    2) The Democratic Party, at the national level, is wholly owned by corporate interests. Outside committees, also known as Super PACs, is eclipsing small donors to the point where small donors only really exist to effectively “launder” corporate money by using them to legitimate Big Money. Anyone who has had any contact with DCCC, DSCC and OFA fund raisers (that bothered to ask) can attest to this. I’ve been asked dozens of times to give small amounts that will be “matched” by big donors. Those big donors were mostly Wall Street donors, from what I could find out. So they don’t really care about small money, but they need it to give the Party some veneer of legitimacy.

    Hence, the institution that is the national Democratic Party is bought. That money is a firewall against any kind of popular movement within the Party, since they can use that money to buy off pols who might still have some lingering sympathies with the people that did the canvasses, phone banks and organizing to get so-and-so elected.

    To “take over the Party,” a movement would have to be able to deliver a withering assault on all that. I seriously doubt that’s even remotely possible, as all of the Party’s leadership will resist with as much force as they can muster. So in the mean time, we’re stuck supporting people and interests that run counter to the Public and National Interests to the benefit of no one outside corporate boardrooms. The Party has been effectively privatized, along with everything else. Popular will only serves to legitimate that and nothing else.

    While I’m not very optimistic about third party efforts, I do know that it’s the path of least resistance. Waging a quixotic war within the party will produce real casualties, politically speaking. Every dollar in opposition resources will be matched 5-to-1 or more from corporate interests and their media holding. Doing an end run around it makes more sense in terms of being able to organize effectively.

    The fact is the Democratic Party hates “liberals”, “progressives”, labor or anyone else who opposes their agenda. This is well known by now. Perhaps it’s time to stop acting like battered children and move on to greener pastures (no pun intended!).

    As Dark Money becomes the norm, it will eclipse the committees of both legacy parties. It already has eclipsed the GOP and accounts for roughly 75% of their electoral resources. The Dems will catch up in this regard and this year’s final reports from the FEC may show a dramatic drop in DNC resources (which also means control) in favor of Dark Money. As money moves outside the control of party committees, the parties themselves become less relevant. Mere window dressing for Super PACs accountable to no one outside their board rooms.

    This is the institutional environment we’re all operating in. As such, we “little people” have already been relegated to the roll of organ grinders for the Big People. It should surprise no one that Democrats have no interest in things like jobs or raising the standard of living. They’re all profiting madly from doing the opposite.

  • ezpz

    YW

  • GaiusPublius

    Fixed. Damn this conversion. Too many broken back-links. Thanks, ezpz.

    GP

  • GaiusPublius

    I understand your point. For me, it comes down to this. (1) Gene McCarthy brought down LBJ in one election cycle. No one has tried that. I’d be in favor of organizing a rebellious progressive candidate now for 2016, per your suggestion below. (2) Third parties in the U.S. are non-starters IMO. So not a choice. (3) I’m all for action in the streets if combined with action to take over the Dem Party (TP the Dems). I’m in favor of an explicitly named Open Rebellion caucus in Congress — real progressives who say No to NeoLib leaders, openly, and rely on voters to keep them in office, not leadership PACs,etc.

    (4) A solution to any of this that depends on chaos is what I’m trying to avoid, thus the choices above. We’re going to get chaos as the default sometime in the next ten or so years, so anyone who wants that (not saying this is your position, Reader), just wait this out. You’ll get it in spades. If we do get the chaos “solution,” only the destitute, the down-and-outers, those whose lives are already chaotic, will be glad for it. For me, chaos is the unmanaged solution — like when you don’t negotiate the end of your bad marriage, but let it come apart through betrayals.

    The odds of succeeding are low, but not zero. Again, Gene McCarthy brought down LBJ in one cycle, in six months really. Where would we be if Matt Damon had stepped up in that window after Obama’s final cave to Rs and before he killed Bin Laden?

    Anyway, that’s my rationale. I don’t see a solution that has a shorter timeline AND the preservation of enough order to allow for a managed solution. Again, those who want the unmanaged one, just wait. You’ll get your wish in spades.

    Thanks for the comment, Reader.

    GP

  • poff

    i just emailed my DEMOCRAT Senators and my congressman. have you?

  • Sidney18511

    My view also match up with the green party and maybe someday in the future they will be viable. Well, we will just have to see how the dems play this thing out. Out of the 60 something blue dogs there are now only 14. What burns my ass is when a politician tries to jam their regilious beliefs down everyone’s throat. The stupak-Pitts is not a part of the ACA. If the dems backslide, it will be fatal for them. The trust will be gone.
    But I will give them a chance and see what they do. I will not write them off yet. The greens have a great ideology but no chance of getting enough voted, so for now it’s either the dems or the repubs, and I feel much safer on all fronts with the dems.

  • A reader in Colorado

    Oh, FLL. There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreampt of in your philosophies.

    The only need for Republican shills on blogs like this is in a world of a person for whom the Republicans are the author of all that is evil and the Democrats are the author of all that is good, or in a world where there is a rare exception to that philosophy but where it mostly holds sway.

    Trust me, this blog is not important enough for a paid Republican or Teabagger shill.

    And, Teabaggers aren’t all that subtle. this isn’t Lord of the Rings, or Lord of the Flies, and you aren’t the U.S. Democratic Party equivalent of a Russian political officer. And you aren’t on a crusade and this is not an episode of Star Trek, Wrath of Khan, with you as Kirk. Sorry to tatter the arm band.

    That you exclude a third position and cast people as subtle operatives in a two sided war that exists by your design doesn’t make you smart, and if even if it did, it would make you petty.

    If I was a Teabagger, you’d know it, because at some point I’d make a bullshit argument in favor of a flat tax or some equally unworkable Teabagger policy bullshit. But even if I did, would it not be enough for you, or someone like you, to bat that argument aside?

    But to be subtle, in order to not be found out? Why would someone who is a Republican/Teabagger who wanted to make mostly liberal arguments even care to hide? Republicans come here to argue all the time. Most of the time they aren’t subtle and their arguments aren’t hard to figure out.

    And what is the point of your paranoid little crusade? As far as I know, Republicans aren’t excluded here. They come by all the time to make drive-by’s. The only point I see of your entire little apparatchik thing to create a world where certain kinds of people don’t exist and to cast you in the role of Ripley, Alien Death Crusader, Heroic discoverer of evil alien Republican moles, which other posters are too stupid to discover, except you, in your infinite wisdom.

    Good luck with that armband in the wash.

  • A reader in Colorado

    Actually, we’re not. FLL just loves wearing the armband. I’m not a Republican or a troll, I’m a Green. But Green doesn’t mean Democrat.

    If you actually listen to what I say, not that you have to, just, it’s what FLL advises, I talk about the very social justice issues and fairness for the poor that the Democrats have abandoned and that FLL cares less about, apparently, than seeing that people are in their proper slots. On the internet.

    What he argues is for people to be properly categorized, in his mind, so that they can be properly dismissed and don’t have to be debated at all, but let me ask you this:

    What difference does it make? Does FLL want to call me and those like me a closet teabagger? Fine. I’m actually not. My father with whom I live every day is an Obamabot, my brother, with whom I don’t speak, is a Republican.

    I’m not any of those things, but if I was, what difference would it make? Teabaggers are not subtle. You don’t need to make it a paranoid fantasy to watch what they say for subtle signs.

    He is, however, illustrative of what I say. In your partisan zeal, you’ve put people in slots and forgotten to talk about in your team sports mentality, anything that’s real, that’s human, and doesn’t cater to the royalism of the people you support.

    The real conflict is people against the powerful, not Republican versus Democrat.

    And if you watch, you’ll see who is against ALL the powerful when they misbehave, and who is for certain powerful people, based on their party.

  • A reader in Colorado

    The part you left out was .. and Democrats .. figuring out the best way to profit from all that. The Democrats are not exactly like the Republicans. That’s a deliberate way of making an argument seem stupid. No, the Democrats are quite different from Republicans. The delusion I have been rid of is to see them as on my side and somehow less dangerous thereby.

    The world you see is not the world I see. The Democrats are NOT for the people. That’s a legacy. A trademark. But it is not what they DO. And there’s a huge amount of evidence on my side to say they have no interest in the people whatsoever and are trading on the legacy of their predecessors.

    And you forget. Before the “Republican war on women” which had some justification, the Democrats, in bipartisany goodness brought us Stupak-Pitts. Rombama brought us deals with Catholic Priests.

    The Democrats cared nothing for women until they saw that Republicans were saying bad things that they, the Democrats, could capitalize on to win elections.

    It is true. The Republicans ARE misogynist. But what is not true is that the Democrats are their opponents, rather than their OPPORTUNISTS.

    You have a rabid party (the Republicans) versus a party that has no soul. No one said they were the same, but anyone who has two brain cells to rub together can see the EVOLUTION here.

    The way, I believe that Republicans arrived at the point they are now, is the very same partisan thing you are arguing for. The content free emergency, to be whatever is necessary to win election, cycle after cycle, is the soul stealing sarcophogas that made Republicans what they are.

    That is, evil, twisted people without an ounce of integrity and willing to use anyone, no matter how dishonorably, to achieve power. To change any stance, any principle, any morality, anything, to do nothing but to win elective office.

    That’s what Republicans are. I don’t dispute that’s what Republicans are. What I am saying, that is what you, what I call partisan apologists, are turning Democrats into. Into utterly content free fighters who care nothing for anything at election time and after election time do anything no matter how venal to reap benefit from that achievement, including flippantly adopting everything they said was so bad about the other party during the previous election.

    And now, that is what you are arguing what Democrats should be, because Republicans are bad.

    How were the Republicans made bad, made largely a party of evil sociopaths? Isn’t that exactly what you’re arguing for the Democrats?

  • Sidney18511

    I understand what you are saying and I don’t have an answer. See the republican party just became really insanely crazy in the past decade. I believe it was the comple and total power that they achieved during the bush administration. They became addicted to it.
    For most of my lifetime (before Kennedy) the difference in the parties has been: the dems were for the people and the repubs were for business. But neither party was dangerous. But as of the last decade the republican party has sucked up to every wacked out group that would vote for them if they promised them something. Evangelicals……no abortion. Racists……..no Mexicans, billionairs………no taxes. Well since Obama was elected the republican party has stoked this craziness……and the bill,was coming due and the GOP and their supporters could of really done some damage.
    I wish more independents would run at the local level and would become a credible third party, but that will take decades. I’m worried about now.

  • ezpz

    Great comment! Thank you.

  • Ford Prefect

    Outstanding. Especially this, which lays out the whole dynamic:

    But I’m done with this ridiculous game of “Republicans are crazy and can’t ever be allowed to win an election, every election is an emergency” at election time and “We’ll deal with them and give them the best part of what they want” at every other time.

    So before the election, the GOP is evil (which is true only 95% of the time, to be generous). After the election, it’s time to sing Kumbayaa with Evil and make a deal so they can both properly service their clients (Wall Street, drone manufacturuers, polluters, etc.). In the end, that’s what all this shite is about.

    We are expected to support whatever shitty deal comes out of this, because not doing so makes us “nutjobs,” “traitors,” or whatever other epithet they can spew. Fine. But that will never address the socio-economic pain about to be meted out by our Neo-Liberal elites.

    I’d like to know how these alleged “liberals” are going to react to people dying because they can’t get their medicines, or people who commit suicide (or worse) because they simply can’t survive in this lovely dystopia our elites have mapped out for us. I know too many elderly people who are messing with their meds because they can’t afford them all anymore. One of them almost died in the wake of Sandy, simply because the stress of the storm pushed her over the edge and her meds weren’t adequate (she’s diabetic).

    But pointing all this out is now evidence of some kind of nuttery. We’re all supposed to just ignore all this, lest the Evil Ones Obama now seems to love (all of a sudden, as always after every election–see: 2009, 2010, 2011 and now 2012/13) so very much, while his minions castigate anyone who strays from the phony Democratic Reservation.

    Their anger is not about the millions of lives being ruined under the Neo-Liberal steamroller. No, they’re angry at anyone who deigns to point at all that ruin with a conscience. Clearly, the answer to all this lies in attacking dissent, not the policies that lead to the dissent in the first place.

  • A reader in Colorado

    So, what’s the plan? Because Republicans weren’t always this way, and Democrats weren’t always as right wing as they are now. Today’s Democrats are not about keeping those social programs alive.

    If you want to vote for people who empower Republicans, who precompromise with Republicans, eventually the Republicans are going to win, That’s the way a two party system, where the two parties collude to exclude any other voices, works. The parties over time trade places.

    If you want to say that Republicans are boogeymen, that they are all boogeymen, don’t expect me to feel sympathy for you by dancing on the edge of the neutral zone and trying to have it both ways.

    They either are a loyal opposition with whom you can deal or they aren’t and are all crazy ass nutty (I lean toward the latter, but have it your way, just choose A way). If they are a loyal reasonable opposition, for whom dealing is ok, except at election time, don’t whine to me about them getting power.

    If you, if people like you, mean what you say, then the thing to do is to eliminate them from power. That means driving them out of power. Every last one of them, to the greatest extent possible. Which then means, having another party to take their place.

    Or, you can say, the Republican Party is crazy, and can’t be allowed to have power, and they can be reformed, but then you have to say how you plan to do that.

    But I’m done with this ridiculous game of “Republicans are crazy and can’t ever be allowed to win an election, every election is an emergency” at election time and “We’ll deal with them and give them the best part of what they want” at every other time.

    I’m not doing election by emergency anymore. It’s time for the Democratic Party, and for its partisans, to get some coherence on the long term way forward.

  • Ford Prefect

    They attack the left, they attack the right. So they don’t believe in anything, except their authoritarianism.

  • Sidney18511

    You know what creeps,me out? Old white republicans and the evangelicals that they pander to wanting any say so with what I do with my body. Passing a law that would make my uterus a crime scene ifI had a miscarriage is F N creepy. Yes Virginia, there is a boogeyman. There is an entire political party of boogymen. If you want to make a statement by voting third party, great. But nobody hears it but you. All the social programs that keep millions of Americans alive were introduced and kept in place by the democrats. It is a republican dream to do away with all of them. To run this country for the benefit of corporations is a country not worth living in. I am a democrat. And a liberal. But I don’t expect to get everything I want. I am willing to meet the other side half way, as long as we are moving foward. The problem is there is one party that has been taken over by extremist. And they want to ram their religious and financial ideas down the throat of EVERYBODY. And. That. Is. Creepy.

  • A reader in Colorado

    When Democrats and the President get support, they do right wing things, because they think they can, and that they will get away with it. They do right wing things because by doing so, they profit from the very corporations and right wing organizations the Republicans are such slaves to.

    By asking for unconditional support, no matter what they do or don’t do, there is only one way the Democrats can go – rightward. They don’t believe in liberal goals, we’ve seen it over and over again. They only do what they’re supposed to when they feel under pressure, and then seldom do the right thing despite the pressure.

    The President is no longer up for election, Pelosi and Reid are not up for election until 2014, which is a year away. There is absolutely no electoral damage to be done by attacking them right now – even if I believed in holding off criticism for elections, which I don’t.

    Even if you were a die-hard Democrat, if there is any time to criticize, now would be the time. I am not a Democrat and so authoritarian calls to “support” someone in the manner of royalty out of fears of boogeymen – boogeymen incidentally propped up by Democrats, just creeps me out.

  • Sidney18511

    FLL…..thanks for the heads up. So these posters are really just RWNJ wearing non-existent LWNJ sheeps clothing. Their trolls. Trying to get us to live in bubbleland like they do. First time to this site, so I didn’t know.
    I guess the cant believe they are really in the minority. And it’s never not a good time to spread some propaganda.
    It won’t work this time. Dems will turn out in droves to vote in the 2014 midterms. I live in Florida and our governor must go. People waited for up to 9 hours to vote. We won’t forget. We won’t forgive. We are legion. And we vote.

  • FLL

    The left-wing nutjob persona is just a mask. Read the comments, and you’ll start to see the mask slip a little. The nutjobs you’re talking about are desperate to impress their Tea Party mommie, daddy, Uncle Zeke, Aunt Hattie, ad nauseum. They think that if they shill for the Republicans, their stupid relatives will accept them, which is a doomed endeavor because it will never happen. Read the comments carefully and you’ll see the implied main idea:

    “Please give right-wing candidates a helping hand by voting third party or not voting because my stupid Tea Party relatives will approve.”

    This psychological syndrome is much more common than you think.

  • FLL

    Republican Tea Party shills already plugging for adding to the Republican House majority in 2014? Well that was fast, wasn’t it? Oh, I’m sorry, I mean getting on this board to tell everyone that the Democratic congressional candidates in 2014 are the “bad people,” and Republicans candidates (who never come in for criticism of any kind) are the “good people.” But that’s never actually the stated main idea; rather, it’s the implied main idea:

    “Vote for the Green Party congressional candidate in 2014; or better yet, don’t vote.”

    As if the readers of this blog are unable to understand an implied main idea, which is basic reading comprehension. The Republican shills insult readers intelligence.

  • Sidney18511

    Ya know I thought left wing nutjobs were just a fantasy, like Santa and the Easter bunny. I’ve read about LWNJ and and didn’t believe it. And now I know they do exist. Holy shite! Yeah maybe the republicans will help the middle class and maybe a fairy riding on a unicorn will fly out of my butt.

  • FLL

    How many trolls do your stupid Tea Party relatives employ? Your candidate lost. It’s time to get over it and move on.

  • FLL

    The Republican shills on this board aren’t worried about who’s going to show them who the boss is. The want the Republicans to take over in 2014. The Republican trolls think that if they help in that effort, their Tea Party relatives won’t punch them in the mouth and throw them out of their house during the holidays like they usually do.

  • Ford Prefect

    Yet more delusional projection. How many trolls does OFA employ anyway?

  • Sidney18511

    Oh this is great. Why don’t all us progressives use crack ourselves in the forehead with a hammer? You are al worried about something that Obama might do? Your like republicans! Please support you local representatives and this president. Pelosi and others will not sell us out but believe me…if the republicans can fool enough people or keep enough dems from voting in 2014, they will retake the senate. And right now the republicans hate more then half the country and if you think that they won’t show YOU who’s the boss if they get the majority, your dreaming. The republicans dream for over 40 years is to get rid of all social programs. And they are not giving up on that now. Had the election gone the other way we would soon be a country of wandering poor pregnant girls and seniors holding vouchers. SS….gone. Dept of education…..gone. EPA…….gone. Regulations…….goodby.
    These parties are not the same please don’t reve everybody up like was done in 2010. Elections have consequence. We should of learned that by now. Support Obama, support the democrats.

  • sleepy

    I’m thinking of Gerald Ford as a moderate republican and I’m not so sure at all that Obama is anywhere near as “moderate”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/harry.barr.96 Harry Barr

    If this is true and I assume it is; my stomach just turned over!! I’m retired USAF and retired D & A therapist so I depend on TRICARE, Social Security, and my military retirement to live. Had I known President Obama was willing to attack the 98% so viciously then I would NOT have voted for him. I would NOT vote for Romney either!!! This must get the widest dissemination possible so that ALL AMERICANS know how our so-called eelected officials are ready to screw over the 98%!! I FEEL BETRAYED!!!!!

  • Ford Prefect

    LOL. Okay, you’ve convinced me you’re pathological.

  • Ford Prefect

    Projection much?

  • Ford Prefect

    And you sir, are a Right-Wng Authoritarian Follower. To the core.

  • ezpz

    You may not like the site, but the two articles I linked are accurate and sourced.

  • Butch1

    Thanks. I’m so tired of them talking about everything but what needs to be done for this country. We’ve waited long enough and the election is over. Time for them to get to work.

  • FLL

    @ Gaius Publius,

    I replied to Butch1′s comment below because I think that his list of priorities is very much on target. However, because this thread has grown to epic length, I wanted to reply to you directly. The memo you note is from June 19, 2011, when Tea Party clout was at its height. In my reply to Butch1, I noted the fact of last week’s election. We have watched the entire country heap well-deserved ridicule on the Fox News/Limbaugh/Rove crowd who cannot accept easily understandable facts, such as the election results, and insist on living in some psychologically-impaired alternate reality. When you posted the memo from last year that Bob Woodward found, that was simply journalism. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and conclude that you don’t live in the Limbaugh/Rove alternate reality, and that you indeed understand the changed circumstances implicit in last week’s election results.

    In my reply to Butch1, I noted that the only reason Obama would have now for catering to right-wing Republicans is if he really wanted to. Based on his entire career in public office, it seems highly unlikely that Obama would “really want to” cater to right-wing Republicans; I thought that was self-evident, but after reading the many fascinating comments on this thread, I suppose I should spell that out l-e-t-t-e-r b-y l-e-t-t-e-r. Nothing in Obama’s tenure as Illinois state senator or U.S. senator indicates any sympathy for the Tea Party idiots who were elected in 2010. Obama’s first two years were dominated by his push for Obamacare, the very “socialist” encroachment that galvanized the Tea Party. Both supporters and detractors of state-sponsored medicine see Obamacare as a step along the way to the kind of one-payer system that other countries have. Yes, the 2010 elections put Obama in more of a corner, but whose doing was the 2010 election? The 2010 election was a right-wing reaction to the first step that Obamacare represented. I don’t think that right-wing reaction was avoidable, seeing as Tea Party types are so well represented in the American public, even among the stupid relatives of the occasional blog commenter who wants to kiss up to them. (Oh, darn! And I was trying so hard to be nice.) But I’m sure you see my point about the easily understandable reality of last weeks elections, Gaius Publius, and the obvious implications for Obama’s increased leverage in dealing with right-wing types that he has never show any inclination to support. I wouldn’t want to think that you’re writing from that alternate universe that Karl Rove is in, or maybe from Planet Kolob.

  • A reader in Colorado

    The problem with this is the path you recommend, of having primaries, of working with the existing parties and not forcing them to account, is a 30 year track. If not 50 years.

    You don’t seem to understand the practical outcomes of your own projections and the remedies you espouse. You say we don’t have 30 years, we have 10. Let’s say I agree. Then you say we have to primary people within the Democratic Party who are bad?

    Who are you kidding? Even if it worked, some of those people would be defeated, others would be coopted by the carbon majority. Succeeding in a primary at all is hard in the first place. If you can’t take 50 years to do it, it can’t be done.

    To do what you recommend, entire parties have to be SMASHED. Ideologically at the very least, if not physically.

    But what you recommend, working within the system, patiently build a movement, primarying politicians who were bought would take decades to do. That’s if it even got off the ground.

    I understand, you don’t like revolutionary talk. To tell the truth, neither do I.

    But there is a fundamental dichotomy between the temporal exigency of which you speak, and the method you espouse to meet it.

    They don’t meet.

  • A reader in Colorado

    Actually, the complaint is that he gave the Republicans everything they wanted, but the Republicans still called him bad names.

  • A reader in Colorado

    ::slaps forehead:: Oh, FFS.

  • A reader in Colorado

    So, what you’re saying is that by proposing trillions of dollars cuts over ten years to Medicare, Social Security, what President Obama was doing was essentially preventing further rampages of unitlateral policy enactment by minority Republicans?

    By proposing austerity, to a minority, who had no real power at all, he knew they would disagree, and without agreement, nothing would happen?

    Yes, his not acting by acting by proposing a catastrophe to a minority who had no power in the first place except what was given does seem to be a sheer act of brilliance. the eleventy dimensional backflip wisdom of the President, adopting the enemy philosophy wholesale while always tinily preventing their total ascension by their sheer disagreement out of their raw hatred, which is counted on in advance, never fails to amaze.

    Clearly President Obama never wanted austerity and all this was a psychological ploy, using everyday Americans as bait, to Obama’s flawless anticipation of every aspect of Republican intransigence.

    I’m sure my dad will approve of being hung out like meat to Republican wolves by Obama for the greater good. After all, Obama is the Great One.

    Strange that the offer for the austerity by the President still is, and has been claimed to be on the table though, waiting to be snatched whenever wanted.

  • A reader in Colorado

    Creepy, creepy, creepy. Clearly, people who question the “greatness” of Barack Obama are, to you, vermin, and he is a superhero to you.

    What would you suggest be done with us, who don’t at all see the “greatness” of Barack Obama?

  • A reader in Colorado

    And your choosing among provided nominees of the two parties is, among other things, what has led to this sordid state of affairs, where we’re choosing between ever worsening evils. You and everyone else who does this.

    This is why we have insane Republicans who must (very unpragmatically) never be elected. Because of your choices, to engage in herd reasoning, you have enabled the very Republicans you think you fight. Because, by the two party system, they MUST WIN. Sometimes. And if they don’t win, if they can never be allowed to win, “lest we all die”, then we have one party, with equally bad results.

    And “They must never ever be allowed to win in a two party system” is the very unicorns, glitter ponies, and candy sprinkles, you complain about. People like you. You cause this. Two parties where only one can ever hold power, because the other is too insane to be allowed, is equal to one party that holds power. Forever.

    You have enabled a system that has caused an entire party, and much of another, to be subsumed in literal policy insanity based on a system where the only reference is the other party. By your enabling of herd reasoning, by your insistence that people cannot win if the herd does not follow, you have with millions of others helped create a system in which there is a death lock where actual reality is shut out.

  • A reader in Colorado

    I have the same question as I have for all people who talk in vague, non specific ways about pragmatism, and what Obama “must do to be president” – that is, what are your goals? Are they actual goals, or do they not exist at all, and are subsumed completely in choosing sides at election day? I don’t ask that question with disrespect, but then, you would be a party follower, and I would not be interested at all in your point of view beyond that.

    So, that’s would be fine and all, if that’s what you want to do, but you seem to have a beef with people who want actual things, and those people like you who talk about pragmatism also make fantastical demands – like retaining the Presidency FOREVER (because Republicans in the seat are always unthinkable). Who wants glitter sprinkles and candy unicorns and all, the people who want THINGS or the people who appear to want to hold power forever?

    I am sick of vague talk about pragmatism and governance and the supposed ideological purity trolling of the left.

    The key question is – what does the Democratic Party generally, and Barack Obama in particular, stand for, if anything at all. The problem is, this pragmatism, and we must compromise, and govern, and be let loose to make any deal we want with Republicans, no matter now noisome, only carries you so far.

    To this point, and with this President and this Party I can think of not one thing. Not one thing being stood for. Ever. And now we are getting down to bare bones party values – foundational things?

    I bet you, the seniors who rely on Social Security and Medicare every day, of which my father, whom I live with, is one, wouldn’t call his SS and Medicare equivalent to a desire for unicorns and candy sprinkles. Your characterization is so offensive in so many ways. One of the ways in which you are offensive is the default presumption that giving way to Republicans is governing and is somehow pragmatic all the time.

    On the other hand, my elderly father being asked to SIGN a loyalty oath to vote for the President by a freckle face kid in his 20′s was an experience – an authoritarian bit of nonsense I observed with my own eyes.

    Desiring that the lifelong contributions of Americans be honored is not unicorns and candy sprinkles, and giving those things away almost to Republicans in the name of bipartisanship and posturing as if one is the “Serious Adult in the Room” is not pragmatic. It’s not even politically wise, which is what people like you who talk about pragmatism seem to refer to when you talk about pragmatism.

    You don’t seem to be talking at all about real world pragmatism, but only what in your mind seems to serve as what politicians can wisely do in Washington, if they choose to do so, but not what effects that would have in reality at all. (In other words, the word “pragmatism” has been associated with what people in the current little dance Washington DC does, do – which has increasingly less and less to do with whether even lights stay on in Topeka, KS).

    It’s just nonsense, and destructive, and will lead to the destruction of the Democratic Party and among other things our diminution as a country, the priorities that the Washington DC set has. Wasting our country on out of control military expenditures while turning our future seniors who have been contributing their entire lives isn’t pragmatic. It’s not governing. It’s just giving way to a right wing death philosophy and trying to prance around as if one is Serious.

    But going along with that as if it’s pragmatic is what I sense is what you mean. As if making choices which will destroy our country and everyone who lives in it is wise because that is what most people in the Beltway think because it’s the way they’ve always done things.

  • A reader in Colorado

    Let me ask you a question. What are your goals for the next four years for President Obama? Or is even asking such a question insolent to you?

    Is it ok for people to second guess the President or should we all just stop saying anything critical whatsoever because “he’s got this”.? Should we just trust the President to do the right thing and we’re hurting the country in your mind by being critical of him in any way?

    Are people who disagree with Obama and think he’s too conservative all white hooded racists, or is there some wiggle room there?

    It seems that Bill and Hillary Clinton are all very good friends with Obama and lately have seemed to agree on almost everything; Bill Clinton appeared at the nomination with a full throated endorsement of Barack Obama’s entire platform. Does this mean that Obama is conservative in the same “white” way that Bill and Hillary are, or is that all for show?

    Lastly, what’s your evidence that these documents are faked? They look pretty real to me. Has the Obama White House denied their authenticity?

  • Swami_Binkinanda

    Actually I think Obama is center right (and yuppie scum) and that his background as a community organizer and lawyer is fancy talk for weasel. By policy achievements Obama is to the right of Nixon on economic and environment issues.

    I don’t get to pick the nominees, I get to choose between two candidates who could possibly win, one of whom I am convinced would be more harmful to the country than the other. I wish I could vote for the Unicorn President of Candy Mountain with Glitter Sprinkles and Candy BBs but sadly, not on offer and probably wouldn’t win.

    Obama has done some things that I think are good that no Republican would have the temerity to undertake. All it took was epic amounts of threats and browbeating (by the gay community, for example) and Obama tepidly bent to the will of his constituents. He also does a lot of weaselly stuff and plain rotten stuff much like every other president. And six years of Republicans owning all three branches of government nearly ruined the country.

  • A reader in Colorado

    Um, if I understand your other comments here correctly, I would be one of the people you would be telling to “fuck off” and who should “join the tea party”. I think your sarcasm meter is broken.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ronald.cordry Ronald Lee Cordry

    And you have always been about Mary, I’m sure :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ronald.cordry Ronald Lee Cordry

    I’m sure you voted for Romney for his 20% taxcut!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ronald.cordry Ronald Lee Cordry

    The ONLY reason we don’t have austerity across the board is DUE to the President. You are as ignorant as the Teabaggers. Wouldn’t surprise me if Gaius and you were Teabaggers!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ronald.cordry Ronald Lee Cordry

    I doubt YOU gradeated out of the second grade!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ronald.cordry Ronald Lee Cordry

    LOL!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ronald.cordry Ronald Lee Cordry

    You are a fucking idiot, Ford!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ronald.cordry Ronald Lee Cordry

    AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ronald.cordry Ronald Lee Cordry

    High Fives!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ronald.cordry Ronald Lee Cordry

    Well said, Tom. Thanks, as all these screaming mimi’s just love thinking the worst of PBO. They deny the greatness of all the things he got passed, against all odds!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ronald.cordry Ronald Lee Cordry

    FireDogLake? A bunch of anarchists without ANY leaders. Useless to their core!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ronald.cordry Ronald Lee Cordry

    I’d like to paint YOU truly as you are. You are an ideological nutjob. Join the Tea Party. They don’t believe in governance, either. Taylor Marsh? She’s to the right of Attila the Hun and has done nothing but use Fox News propaganda against PBO, since he was inaugurated. All done in her lust for Bill & Hillary. Her type of Democrats. WHITE and conservative. YOU REMIND ME OF TAYLOR. I bet you are addicted to Fox News, too! Lastly, Bob Woodward’s a has-been. How do you know what he leaked is factual and real? His book on Obama’s White House was also a propagandized pile of dung, full of lies. Fuck off, already. Your white hood is too tightly wound!

  • Naja pallida

    There is a cap on the number of H-1B visas… and 85,000 jobs, even in specialty occupations, is not going to make or break our jobs situation. We have much larger problems than a few immigrants with advanced degrees or specialized skills. There is paperwork from the Department of Labor which is required to show proof that you are not overpaying or underpaying for an immigrant worker, and that the employer made a token effort to find a qualified citizen for the job in the chosen market. Granted, immigration of any form is basically just a mess of red tape paperwork that is probably never really scrutinized by anyone – as long as the checks to pay all the fees clear. The H-1B visa system is actually one of our more effective and sensible immigration programs.

    I agree, it does seem logical that contracting with an employee would be the way to go… and many larger companies do that, but many are also simply not willing to put that kind of investment into their employees. They see employees as a disposable resource, that if they can’t get people to work for the lowest possible salary here, they’ll just find someone in another country who will. Look at IBM, they’ve systematically laid off Americans and hired people in Mexico and Slovakia, for what are competitive salaries in those countries, but much less than they would have to pay an American with a comparable skill set. Dell did pretty much the same thing. As soon as they saw the tech bubble about to burst, they immediately sent all their tech support jobs overseas. I live just down the street from Dell headquarters, and they don’t even send an actual Dell employee to do service calls locally any more, they contract to a third-party company and pay on a per-call basis. What we need is a way to create jobs that can’t be outsourced, on top of strong incentives to discourage outsourcing.

  • FLL

    Your comment is “liked” many times over. You’ve put together a list of exactly what needs to be done. We’ve just had an election in which the Republicans had their asses handed to them; that’s not “rationalizing,” it’s simply noting reality. Whether Obama takes advantage of the changed circumstances is another matter entirely. If he caters to bigoted Republican Tea Party idiots, it’s because he wants to, and Obama’s economic legacy would be that he was a Tea Party wannabe. (Oh, darn, I said, “bigoted Tea Party idiots.” Have I inadvertently insulted anyone’s beloved relatives?)

    I think Gaius Publius accurately estimates things coming to a head during the first six months of 2013, so I’ll just copy the URL for this thread for future reference. The last thing I would want to do is misquote anyone. Honestly.

  • Butch1

    Do we all need to sit them down and tell them again exactly what we want them to do?

    1 Do NOT touch Social Security.

    2 Start working on a Jobs Bill NOW!

    3 Close the any loopholes in the tax structures, simplify it, eliminate off shore tax shelters.

    4 Start making those rich folks pay more over $250,000,00 and this time do it.

    5 Start building infrastructure this country is falling apart.

    6 Build a new railroad system like they have in Europe for transportation. We need it.

    7 More Wind, and Solar power plants are needed. as we start reducing the fossil fuels.

    8 Better schools need to be build to replace some of these older ones that are falling apart.

    9 More teachers are needed.

    There are many things these politicians could be talking about rather than just trying to raid our Social Security funds each and every time they get together. We are getting tired of it.

    Perhaps, a faster end to the Afghan war would be novel.

  • hollywoodstein

    Klobuchar was on Maddow arguing for the need for spending cuts to go along with revenue.

  • A reader in Colorado

    LOL .. you actually went there .. to ponies. But you forgot the glitter sprinkles. We want our glitter sprinkles too!

    You also forgot that Barack Obama was always a centrist, which means that you promise that he does all these wonderful things before the election, then talk about how “pragmatic” he is after, which basically means, doing what the Republicans propose.

    Don’t forget to talk about the unfairness of it all when the meanie Republicans and their corporate owners talk about how socialistic Barack Obama is, after having been such a loyal concierge.

  • A reader in Colorado

    “Now that Obama’s been reelected, he can do progressive things without having to worry about another election. He will roll over the Republicans, he won’t give into their demands, you’ll see —

    “What? You say he made a deal with Republicans and told Pelosi and Reed to extend the Bush tax cuts for another year, no cuts to defense, a trillion dollars in cuts to Medicare, slashed Social Security and hired a Republican for Secretary of State?

    “Well, Obama was ALWAYS a centrist. You just don’t understand that Obama is a pragmatist. You are unrealistic. You are a purity troll and an ideological extremist. A leftist. YOU JUST WANT A PONY WITH GLITTER SPRINKLES. wAAAAAAH”

  • Swami_Binkinanda

    Wow you sure made a convincing and reasoned case to me that we should all listen to you and do what you say. I am totally and fully behind your clearly stated vision for why we should have more unicorns and ponies running in our elections instead of the people who actually went through the established democratic process and received enough votes to be considered seriously for election.

    I agree with you that if we just wished harder we could have a world with no moral ambiguity, grey areas or bad tradeoffs.

    I too demand a world where everything is how I want, not how it actually is.

    I too repudiate reality as it is in favor of a world where a nation of 330 million people will agree with my brilliance, thank me for my iconoclastic and unique stance and recognize my genius just like you.

  • condew

    Two comments on that. First, it would seem reasonable to contract with the employee that after the training, the employee will stay some period of time with the employer or reimburse the employer for the training. That’s how the company I work for deals with help with college courses; stay a year or pay for them yourself.

    Second, and more important, skilled labor in the U.S. needs to target the issuers of H1B visas; send them your resume and say that any employer who claims to need skills like mine from foreign sources is a liar. Lobby congress to make employers demanding more visas demonstrate that they have conducted a public and thorough search. Compare their claims to the skills of those who are under- and un-employed.

  • Ford Prefect

    No, what “panics” people is four years of BHO selling out the bottom 80% of the US population. What panics people is six years (being super conservative with the timeline) of Democratic sell-outs. As much as I loathe that slimy POS, if the docs Woodward produced are legit, then the scale of the Dem sell-outs over the years have been seriously underestimated.

    BHO has already stated, for many months now, that his idea of “balance” means $2.50 in non-defense/non-security related cuts (meaning it’s all social programs) to every $1.00 of “revenue increases,” which doesn’t even need to mean tax increases (which is why he phrased it that way). That’s not the least bit balanced, unless one lives on a sailboat listing starboard at 20 degrees.

    Ultimately, this next round of sell-outs will probably decimate “liberalism” and the Democratic Party. (Nota bene: I’ve been a Democrat for 36 years). You’ll have to forgive some of us for not wanting to go down with the SS Titanic.

  • Ford Prefect

    No one as childish as yourself should be castigating anyone. There is a very real issue here and you can’t wave it away with 8th grade ad homs.

  • Ford Prefect

    All this rationalizing going in in several comments now is completely besides the basic point that this “deal” is bullshit to begin with. There is no fiscal crisis. SS is not in crisis. Medicare should be properly funded, but that “crisis” is purely artificial, courtesy of both parties’ hostility towards old people who aren’t rich enough to line politicians’ pockets.

    Obama offered the GOP a massive tax cut because he wanted to, not because a few liberals decided he was somehow “weak,” even though he occupied the White House. I don’t doubt he wil also offer the GOP whatever they need to remain relevant with their fetid base. That’s how he operates. That’s how Democrats operate.

    There is nothing new in any of this.

  • Swami_Binkinanda

    But there are so many Jill Stein and Gary Johnson voters who want to trumpet their moral superiority, how can you churlishly deny them the opportunity to flaunt their futile gestures?

  • ezpz

    “It’s all about Obama now.”

    It was ALWAYS about Obama.

    Edit: I see now as I’m reading some of the comments, that you pretty much said the same thing downthread.

  • http://twitter.com/tomincmh tom anderson

    We must all remember the time that this deal was offered. It was not long after the 2010 election, where Repubs won a slew of seats and the President was in the weakest position politically in his Presidency. It is a far difference from the man, who after winning a massive electoral victory several days before, appeared at the White House with a pen in his hand basically daring the house GOP to not extend the middle class portion of the Bush tax cuts.
    The GOP will not get a deal this good for them ever again and they know it. The best they can hope for is something remotely close to it and that’s what they’re striving for now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/marissa.d.griffin Marissa Dendy Griffin

    Shell game. Devil in the details. If you really delve into the document and figures, the GOP got played and they know it. That’s why THEY didn’t release this document. If it was such a terrible deal for the President, don’t you think the GOP would have jumped all over it??!! Please, please, liberals. Don’t let BOB WOODWARD of all people drive you mad.

  • andyou

    There are a few progressives: Sherrod Brown and I bet Elizabeth Warren. Also Bernie Sanders, although he’s an Independent.

  • Mary

    Obama has always been about Obama. It was easy to see.

  • andyou

    If any of the progressive super PACs have money left over from the campaign they should create advertising against the grand bargain A.S.A.P. We must not let Obama use any honeymoon period to drive a stake through the heart of the Democratic party. If only we could be as organized about fighting this as we were getting Obama reelected.

  • Mary

    LOL. They don’t even realize that he doesn’t need them anymore.
    Legacy, legacy, legacy. It’s all about Obama now.

  • http://blogvader.tumblr.com/ Blogvader

    Wow, less than a week and already we have ‘progressives’ experiencing buyers’ remorse for the person they so enthusiastically endorsed six days ago.

    Or did you think that having even less accountability was going to motivate Obama to give a crap about your interests?

  • Mary

    Obama will be interested in his legacy, now. Period. He doesn’t NEED the “progressive” left anymore. He will choose to do what puts him in history books, and the foolish media will praise him for being “like Lincoln.”
    Be careful what you wish for.

  • http://twitter.com/tomincmh tom anderson

    Good ole Bob Woodward. Ready to panic the Democratic rank and file over an offer made well over a year ago and made when the Repubs had won a slew of seats in the 2010 election and the President was at his weakest standing politically. It’s important to remember context on this. Does anyone think the man who made this offer is in the same position as the one who, after winning a massive electoral victory just a few days ago, held up a pen during a White House speech basically daring the GOP house to not pass an extension of just the middle class tax cuts?

    I highly doubt the GOP will ever see an offer as good as that one again and they know it too. They’re just trying to get a deal that comes remotely close to it.

  • hollywoodstein

    Obama don’t care. Obama don’t give a shit.

  • ezpz

    “The public has spoken and elections have consequences.”

    Yes, the public has spoken. It has given 0bama a pass on all his obsequiousness to the gop, as he spat in the face of his base, replete with his surrogates calling supporters ‘retards’ and cheetoh eating hippies or something like that. And by re-electing him, this same base or the ‘public’ has not only given him a pass, but they’ve actually endorsed what they HAD to know was his agenda. Only those living under a rock wouldn’t know about this grand bargain, or his drone program, or his kill list of anyone, including US citizens, or his indefinite detention w/o charges…..the list is long.

    And yes, elections do have consequences, but sadly, ‘we the people’ will be the ones to bear the brunt of those consequences. Not 0bama, not the democratic party, not the gop, just ‘we the people’.

    But worry not, the bots will continue to have his back as he screws us.

  • A reader in Colorado

    Slightly OT: Actually, what I’d ask is, is it too early to start to choose and unite behind an actual left wing candidate for President in 2016. I’d say it cannot be too soon.

    I voted for the Democratic candidate for President for all elections except this one. I didn’t vote to reelect Obama and I’m never voting for a DLC neoliberal ever again. That means Hillary Clinton is unacceptable before she even begins, and she’s already crowned as the heir apparent to Obama. The time to start saying no to Hillary is now, not in two years, and before Obama gets his devil’s bargain. And it’s time to start talking about the Democrats forming a self serving dynasty of social safety net cutters and talking about that dynasty and its corruption and why they want yet another extension of that dynasty in Hillary Clinton.

    The message needs to be gotten across in no uncertain terms to all Americans: The presidential election is a political sham conducted by the two parties and for the two parties, for no real Americans, meant to whip up sentiment to no actual real effect at all once policy starts getting made. Once Obama enacts his desired Grand Bargain, it’s time to begin to shout that the two parties’ presidential show is just that, an exercise in sound and fury signifying nothing, in Shakespeare’s terms.

  • Naja pallida

    Many business sectors have relied heavily on government resources to train their employees for a long time. (Consider the airline industry, as a for instance…) What we’re seeing is the direct result of drastic cut backs to secondary education funding, and the de-emphasis of science, technology and reality-based education. On top of companies simply not wanting to invest the kind of money it takes to actually train an employee, because they know in this market, any employee will be happy to jump ship the second they get a better offer elsewhere. While there really is a shortage of skilled labor, many of these companies are also simply not willing to pay what skilled labor is worth in this country, and would rather complain than put their money where their mouth is. Many are holding their breath, hoping that the economy stays stagnant so the value of a skilled employee plummets.

  • josephebacon

    Take the cap off of FICA Taxes and Social Security will be on a solid footing. That should be our demand to the Wimpy Democrats and the Appeaser in the Oval Office!

  • josephebacon

    Sure am glad I voted for Jill Stein because I knew this was coming. Obama made it clear in the debates that there will be no defense cuts, so all of the cuts will fall on the domestic side. We need to make it absolutely clear to the Democrats that there will be hell to pay if they even so much as try to lay a finger on Social Security and Medicare. It’s time to go to Occupy Phase 2 and get in the streets!

  • bushtheidiot

    Chris Matthews called it on election night when he noted that Obama could not even mention the victories of the rest of his party. Obama, moments after winning the election, returned to “I’m on my own,” and we are bracing for impact. BTW Rachel slammed Chris for his comments–but we know better.

  • Ford Prefect

    If you’ve seen his victory speech, he’s emboldened to run even farther to the right. No mention of jobs or a healthy economy, just austerity for those who can’t afford corporate lobbyists.

  • ComradeRutherford

    Obama already has started pre-caving to the far-right GOP extremists in the House. Why would anyone expect Obama to protect Medicare? He is a Moderate Republican, after all.

  • ezpz
  • ezpz

    He deserves zero credit for moving so far to the right and taking the whole democratic party with him. He’s to the right of Nixon, and I daresay even to the right of Bush/Cheney when it comes to droning and indefinite detention w/o charges.

  • ezpz

    I think I found the broken link via a google search:

    http://americablog.com/2012/05/weekend-thoughts-obama-and-his-image.html

  • ezpz

    Still broken, but I think I found it via a google search:

    http://americablog.com/2012/05/weekend-thoughts-obama-and-his-image.html

    Is that it?

  • http://twitter.com/democrat2theend Laura

    For what it’s worth, this was before the election and at a time when Obama was worried about the nation sliding into recession on his watch if this didn’t get solved. Hopefully now that he has been reelected he will be emboldened and unwilling to give as much.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I actually agree with you on all those points. Our problem here is kind of like taking a car to a crooked mechanic. You know he’s capable of fixing whatever minor problem there is with your car that caused you to want to take it to his shop in the first place. However, past experience has shown that once he gets under the hood and your car up on the lift, he’ll “find” (i.e., create) all kinds of problems that weren’t there in the first place.

    That’s what I see happening with the Dems and GOP when they start mucking with the tax code in the name of ‘reform’. Simply raising the taxes on the rich isn’t on the table. The starting point is higher taxes on income over $250k AND cuts to all of the programs listed in the post above. Do you think the final deal will be better than that, or worse? I’m wagering it’ll be worse, especially given the repeated endorsement of Simpson-Bowles by Obama and the ‘serious’ Dems.

  • Naja pallida

    Yeah, but his past method of “compromise” is to give the Republicans everything they want, and then complain that the left demanded too much.

    Romney really did win the election. He just doesn’t get to move into the White House.

  • FunMe

    Broken link. Tried 5 minutes ago. “Error 404 – Page not found”

  • http://www.ryanstake.net RyansTake

    I don’t think we should do any of those things, either.

    The budget doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game. The government can spend more than it takes in, especially in tough economic times.

    Taxes should be raised on the rich, particularly the very rich, and corporations should have to pay their fair share… and cuts should be made to the military… and if all of that is done, by the time the economy starts to right itself (in part fueled by government spending), we can then be in a position for a balanced budget.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Perhaps. But know what’ll really hurt? Increases to Medicare premiums, deductibles and co-pays. Cuts in Medicaid (which always means fewer people covered). The proposed increase in the Medicare eligibility age. The cuts to TriCare — which means reduced medical benefits for our returning military veterans, at a time when they need help the most. Deep cuts in military and civilian pensions for people already enduring a multi-year pay freeze.

    It goes on and on, and in this case it really does amount to a zero-sum proposition: Higher taxes for everybody — and let’s not forget that the Bush tax cuts were ridiculously small potatoes for the common folks. Or deep cuts in the programs the poorest, sickest, and oldest of us need the most.

    Either way, we’re talking austerity. Either it gets spread around, or it hits those the hardest who are least in a position to endure it. Obama and the Dems and the GOPers refuse to give us any other choice.

    Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for restoring progressiveness to our tax code. I’d actually like to see us return to pre-Reagan rates. But that ain’t gonna happen. So I’m going to hold to the idea of the status quo ante, which is actually the path of least resistance and requires no action at all on the part of Congress.

  • ARP

    “Credit,” meaining, if he’s doing this to show the American people how bipartisan he is and score political points, it won’t work unless he fights the notion that meeting Republicans in the middle, is really the middle.

  • Green Eyeshade

    Still broken, with or without the #Obamabetrayer after the .html

  • condew

    There is still a bit of “socialized risk, private profit” in “government trains people”. Business should train the people they need themselves, the cost is a legitimate business expense that will reduce their taxes. Well, unless they already pay zero taxes and that is another injustice itself.

  • condew

    What lead to Reagan’s ascension was Nancy Reagan; Republicans wanted to deify him, and even Democrats were too concerned about hurting Nancy’s feelings to point out the terrible things Reagan did, like stabbing organized labor in the back and starting the export of American jobs.

    Reagan was mentally incompetent his last few years in office and should have been impeached.

  • tandy

    Your ‘paint Obama’ link is coming up 404 here in Detroit, on Comcast.

  • Hue-Man

    If the TeaParty can frighten The Great Pumpkin, why can’t liberal Democrats scare Obama?

    60 Minutes last night aired the complaints of the business community about millions of skilled jobs that go unfilled. Their solution: government trains people for these jobs. The reality: the young man they tracked through on-the-job training for one of these skilled jobs was hired – at the princely rate of $12 per hour.

    The entire system is broken and taking away the tatty safety net provisions that do exist is only going to make the problem worse. Why is the government stealing money from poor people to pay for an oversize military-industrial complex, corporate subsidies, ag subsidies, pharma windfall pricing, etc.?

  • GaiusPublius

    thanks. hopefully fixed now. let me know if not.

    GP

  • GaiusPublius

    Thanks for the info!

    Drunk closeted congressional Rpub aide told me the memo has gone out for Rs to deal on immigration and Grand Bargain, and they are going to try to claw back as much of the prior deal as possible.

    GP

  • GaiusPublius

    Agree with just one proviso, RyansTake. We don’t have 30 years as a country — at least one we’d recognize — since we’re not taking care of the climate. We have 10 or so. That train isn’t being stopped by anyone with is electoral hand in a billionaire’s pocket.

    Other than that, you’re exactly right. Dems are finally starting to sort things out. Sadly, “at their back they oughta hear, time’s wingéd chariot, etc.”

    GP

  • Blue Floridian

    O is just a year younger than me. I certainly did not grow up idolizing Ronnie and no one who had half a brain and lived through that time and was politically active or sensitive should have. His Reagan idolatry began much later probably during his Senate run in order to appease his Chicago financiers (the Pritzkers)

  • ezpz

    The “paint Obama as he truly is” link is broken.

  • Ford Prefect

    Not really. As the winner of the contest, 44 gets to decide what people voted for and why. Right now, he’s saying his supporters voted for Austerity, rising inequality, screwing the poor and elderly… and so on.

    44 is not accountable to the public anymore. He’s only accountable to those who will be paying $1 Million per speech after he leaves office. Those are his real supporters. No one else counts.

  • Ford Prefect

    I just saw this, this morning: It seems FDR tried to turn down the nomination in 1940 because the Democrats were too crass/corrupt to be of any value to the country. It’s just too bad there aren’t any real progressives in the Party anymore (I’m not talking about voters who sold themselves out years ago… I’m talking about leadership). Otherwise things might be different:

    http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/must-read/franklin-d-roosevelt-letter-declining-1940-democratic-party-nomination

  • Ford Prefect

    That’s rather the point. They’re not trying to improve the economy. They’re merely working to make the US a more unequal society. Don’t expect much stimulus in the wake of Sandy that doesn’t involve giving free money to the rich and banks.

    Instead, expect of lot of hand wringing and, “We’d love to help you. Really would. But you know we’ve got these arms purchases and corporate welfare that has to be paid first…”

  • ezpz

    Is it too early to bitch about the Grand Bargain Trainwreck Obama has planned for us?”

    No, it’s too late. The right time would have been BEFORE the election. And yes, I know, GP, that you did post many such warnings, but always with the caveat that we absolutely MUST vote for/elect 0bama. Never a call for action, except maybe contact your representatives and senators. Why should 0bama, or and D for that matter, care what voters think, if they voted for him/them with this knowledge?

    I saw Evan Bayh (d) on one of the Sunday shows yesterday. He said that entitlements must absolutely be cut, and that 0bama HAS TO stand up to his base.

    Again, not too early. Too damn late!

  • http://www.ryanstake.net RyansTake

    At the micro level, maybe not for most of the 98%, though certainly for some. At the macro level, I think you’re quite wrong. It would definitely be painful. Tax cuts aren’t the most stimulative thing, but they are stimulative when put in the hands of people who will actually spend it each paycheck, and most of the 98% does.

  • Badgerite

    This is true. What he was willing to give up before re-election is not what he should be willing to do now. The public has spoken and elections have consequences. The GOP is probably playing this memo up so as to try to get the President to agree to what they could have gotten before they decided to punish the country by taking issue right up to the point of default. If he caves, then the Senate Dems have to say, in Boehner’s words, “Hell NO”!

  • http://ifthethunderdontgetya.blogspot.com/ ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

    Yep.

    All the LEFT’s fault, always.

    Here’s your message, Badgerite:

    “When Democratic corporatists kick you in the face, lick their boots. Then things will turn out for the best.”
    ~

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I remember the tax rates during the Clinton years quite well. They weren’t that bad. It might take a little while to get used to them again, but they weren’t economically painful at all.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Here we go again.

    And come 2014 when the Dem base fails to turn out because their party spent the last two years slashing the safety net and pushing cuts even Reagan and Dubya couldn’t get passed, they’ll blame minorities, LGBTs, hippies, and the youth vote once more, just like in 2010. Because in the Democratic party, it’s never a failure to keep promises or govern like the populist progressives their candidates pretended to be in the campaigns.

  • ezpz

    “…what’s worse is that Obama will get no credit for offering to give up this much as a compromise….”

    Interesting that you would use the word ‘credit’ when accountability or BLAME is more apropos.

    Why should Obama get credit for helping republicans enact a republican agenda? I thought he was a democrat, no?

    Your thinking is very similar to that of 0bama:


    Obama Frustrated He Doesn’t Get Credit For Wanting to Cut Social Security and Medicare

    http://news.firedoglake.com/2012/08/09/obama-frustrated-he-doesnt-get-credit-for-wanting-to-cut-social-security-and-medicare/


    Obama Campaign Makes Sure You Know Obama Plans to Cut Social Security

    http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2012/10/08/obama-campaign-make-sure-you-know-obama-plans-to-cut-social-security/

  • http://www.ryanstake.net RyansTake

    I can’t remember the last Secretary of State that’s used the office as a “resume bump” for their political careers. Most either retire after, or join academia, etc. Maybe Hillary will be the exception, but I think she’s leaning more towards retiring than running for President.

  • http://www.ryanstake.net RyansTake

    The tax cuts for the 98% are a huge boon for most working people, and cutting them would actually be economically painful.

    That said, I can go this far in agreeing with you: If there’s the choice between cutting them for everyone (including millionaires and billionaires) or letting them go up for everyone, then we should just let the tax cuts sunset and taxes be hiked.

    If anything, the pain that it would cause — with even a little effort — will be blamed on Republicans and, should we call their bluff, we’d get a new tax cut through for the 98% soon after… and, if not, then take it to the next election in 2014 and use it to win back the House.

  • http://www.ryanstake.net RyansTake

    I completely agree. We have a recipe to not only win elections, but actually be a decent country, for the next 30-40 years… if we actually fight for the things people want. I desperately hope the President and Congressional Democratic leaders realize that. For once in their lives, they can be the progressive party their base so desperately wants, and be rewarded politically by nearly 2/3rds of the country for it.

  • http://www.ryanstake.net RyansTake

    If this passes, the Democrats will be blamed for it, and rightly so. We’ll get destroyed in the next election and even 2016 will look bleak. That’s to say nothing of all the incredible damage this will do to seniors and the rest of the country, which should really be the only thing we all care about.

    We can afford to give senior citizens, veterans, kids and students a fair break in the world and adequately fund the programs they count on. Let’s do it.

  • Ford Prefect

    If you listened to Obama’s victory speech, as far as he is concerned, this is precisely what the American people voted for. This is not news, of course.

    There seems to be a great deal of confusion as to what people actually vote for. The guideline is that the Victor gets to decide who voted for what. Everyone who voted for Obama voted for precisely what he says they voted for.

    That’s how this works in real life.

  • condew

    I agree, let all the Regan tax cuts expire. I’d like to see the cap on payroll taxes raised. I’d like to see investment income taxed at a rate higher, not lower, than wages, but that’s not likely to pass the House. I’d much rather pay more taxes now than be even poorer in my old age and have to fight to get necessary medical care. Cutting education funds and other foundations of our future prosperity is not an option either. Getting the savings from programs for the poor is just plain immoral. So I see letting the tax cuts expire in their entirety as the least bad option available. I’ll pay more if those wealthier than me also pay more.

  • Badgerite

    What led to Reagan’s ascension is not that he “took over the Republican Party”. What led to his ascension is that he WON AN ELECTION or two. And what led to Powell of the now infamous Powell Memo being on the Supreme Court was that Richard Nixon won an election or two because the left in this country was way too busy smelling its own sh-t and savoring how sweet it was instead of worry about persuading people that they were right about anything so as to, you know, win and election or two.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elijah.shalis Elijah Shalis

    What is up with the food stamp and pell grant cuts on the list? Did you know that Obama restricts the number of semesters you can get the Pell grant to 12 now. This is bullshit.

  • hollywoodstein

    Must be some eleventy dimensional chess to clip his wings for 2016.

  • confusion

    Looks like Rmoney did steal election…so who is new president ? Rmoney..Gingrich..Ryan ..Grover ??

  • hollywoodstein

    Exactly!

  • Crazy8

    Why in the hell can’t we let the Bush Tax Cuts expire for everyone. If were are saying let EVERYBODY sacrifice so that we can pay our bills for schools & etc. instead of fucking with SS & Medicare, then everyone in the USA would have skin in the game. I am an American and I want to pay my fair share. Can”t we all get along and share our American Burden together? Why can’t we make, “Out of Many, One,” work?

  • http://www.zazzle.com/fierylocks FieryLocks

    Hear hear!

  • hollywoodstein

    And floating Huntsman for Sec State when Hillz stands down. Stop it with these Rpubs appointments. Makes you look all bipartisany kewl. Bipartisanship is not an end to itself, but a means to an end. We won. Our side won. There are dozens of qualified Dems who can do the job, and could use the resume boost to their careers. Democrats won. Democrats voted you in. Appoint a Democrat.

  • hollywoodstein

    And Erskine Bowles, really? The only person on the planet worse than Timmeh G.

  • cole3244

    ss is not part of the deficit and should not be part of the deficit argument.

  • hollywoodstein

    Sandy the Democrat Hurricane will initially depress commerce, but eventually will gift obama with a 20-30 Billion dollar stimulus to the economy. Cuts to government spending during recession will not stimulate the economy. It makes no sense.

  • cole3244

    44 had better step up to the plate and protect the back of his supporters, to do otherwise is a complete capitulation to the agenda of the dems and their constituency.

  • ARP

    While this is dangerous in itself, what’s worse is that Obama will get no credit for offering to give up this much as a compromise. Apparently, nobody in all of Obama’s team has heard of the term anchoring/bracketing in negotiations.
    Republicans will simply start with more extreme demands so that the “middle” is in reality, fairly far to the right. And when Obama relents and this bargain happens, the GOP will be the first to campaign against Democrats for giving away so much of social safety net.

  • hollywoodstein

    Drunk closeted congressional Rpub aide told me the memo has gone out for Rs to deal on immigration and Grand Bargain, and they are going to try to claw back as much of the prior deal as possible. Unfortunately, this is the template.
    Social Security is not broke, the Deficit is not out of control. Why can’t Obama just let the Bush tax cuts expire, pass the Obama tax cuts for the middle class, and get everyone back to work. He would be more respected and beloved than Reagan if he did that.

  • hollywoodstein

    Cannot believe he’s giving up the store like this so easy. Wait, been saying this since inauguration so yes I can. Cannot believe Rpubs said no. Okay Teaparty so yes I can believe. The Republicans are already at Final Cut Pro making the 2014 midterm ads that Obama and the Democrats cut your Social Safety Net.
    The Dems should be capitalizing on the sea change election. The could govern in the majority for the next 30 years. People did not vote for this.

  • hollywoodstein

    I called it RonnieRaygun wannabe. When o was coming of age that who was popular, and this is what he thinks will secure his legacy.

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